TV Rots The Mind

Who Started That Silly Rumor Anyway?

I was born in 1952, when the thing called television was often live and always black and white. I hear a lot of people say that TV is bad for children, but I learned more from TV than from most of my formal schooling. TV is like any other device or medium. It's what you do with it that counts.

One of my favorite actors is Jan-Michael Vincent. I watched his work way back in the days
when he went by Michael Vincent, and was in a weekly serial called Danger Island on The Banana Splits.
I believe the young actress who was in the serial with him was Ronne Troupe.
Was Danger Island ever compiled and sold as a separate commercial video product? I hope so!
Here's Rosie's site dedicated to the work of Jan-Michael Vincent.

I enjoy both helicopters and JMV, so I watched Airowlf faithfully. There are still quite a few fans of the show.
Ken's Airwolf Web Page
Bell Helicopter Textron
(the folks responsible for the lovely machine that acted as Airwolf)

Here's The Airwolf Homepage.

Another of my favorite shows over the years was CHiPs, with Larry Wilcox, Erik Estrada, Robert Pine, Paul Linke, Brodie Greer, Randi Oakes, Brianne Leary, Michael Dorn, and others. They rarely pulled their guns, which was a nice change from the old blood-and-guts we see in many shows. You can reminisce with me at CHiPs Online

I spent time in my youth with Captain Kangaroo, Sky King, Fury, and The Whirlybirds. Oh, and the Cleavers!

Candace Rich has a great page on some of the old TV shows. Have a look at TV in the 50's

Long before"talk to the hand" was an insult, it likely meant someone was wearing a cute puppet at the end of their arm. Take a stroll down memory lane at The Unofficial Kuklapolitan Web Page, with Kukla, Fran and Ollie.

"Palladin, Palladin, where do you roam?"
Richard Boone fans will enjoy this Have Gun Will Travel site.

My Three Sons was on the air for quite a few years.

She blinked, she laughed, she was Cinderella with almost angelic powers.Jeannieland celebrates I Dream Of Jeannie.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. said a lot about the times in which we lived, and the interest we all had in the Cold War and intelligence operations of any kind.

Who hasn't dreamed of leaving all your troubles behind and riding away to wherever the road takes you?
In Then Came Bronson, we had a chance to follow Jim Bronson on his travels.
Michael Parks not only rode the Harley and played the part of Bronson; he sang a lot of the songs.
Michael put out a new cd awhile back. It was worth the wait! He still has that gentle, easy way of delivering a song so that you imagine he sat down in the room with you and sang just so you and he could share the music together. Now all we have to do is persuade him to record some more tunes for us.

Although the show's heyday was marred by the tragic death of Pete Duel in 1971, ABC still managed to give us 50 episodes of Alias Smith and Jones.

Although they didn't come along until the mid-70's, The Jeffersons spent about ten years making us laugh while we began to understood more about prejudice, reverse prejudice, and silly unspoken caste systems in America.
By the way, has anyone noticed that while we continue to have one black sitcom after another, there are still no dramas on prime-time network TV with black families as the main characters?

Then there was the hilarious Mama's Family, born from a cast of characters introduced on
another beloved classic, The Carol Burnett Show.

WKRP made us laugh, wince, and then made us realize how we label people as "bimbos" or "leaders" or "fast-talking salesmen" without getting to know who they really are. Check out the WKRP Episode Guide.
Before Gary Sandy ever worked on WKRP he was in an old soap opera called Another World - Somerset, a spinoff of the original Somerset. He was a bit less famous in those days, and took time from his busy schedule to answer my "fan letter" with a handwritten postcard which I still have. I've heard he's just a nice guy that way, even today.
Here's the Cast Listing for Another World - Somerset.
You'll catch a few other familiar names there along with Gary's.

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I've wondered what happened to several former child actors, and recently found a site worth a visit called Former Child Star Central.
They have information on lots of young performers you and I have thought about since their early days.

Remember Bobby Diamond (Joey Newton) from Fury?
And here's a great site on the beautiful horse who played Fury.

Donna Butterworth (not from TV, but was in a couple of films).
(Several folks have written me asking if I've found anything on her, and I have to confess that I have not.
If someone knows what she is doing now, please let me know.
We don't want to intrude on her personal life, but would like to report whether she stayed in show business, or perhaps grew up to be a teacher/mom/lawyer/stock broker!

Here's a site featuring Pamelyn Ferdin, who did many guest appearances on shows as a child.

Oh, how she made us despise her character's spoiled-brat antics on Little House On The Prairie, but now Alison Arngrim is all grown up.

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This page was updated on August 31, 2006
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